dslreports logo
site
spacer

spacer
 
   
spc
story category
Verizon Hopes LTE 'Double Cap' Promotion Eases 3G Congestion
Also Still Experimenting With Consumer Pricing
by Karl Bode 09:31AM Monday Nov 14 2011
Last week we noted that Verizon Wireless is running a promotion allowing customers to get double their usual data allotment on capped plans -- if they buy a new LTE smartphone and sign a two-year contract. Verizon Communications CFO Fran Shammo told investors last week that the new promotion (which so far doesn't have a clear end date) is all about nudging users from their EVDO to LTE network, in the process helping ease congestion caused by the EVDO-only iPhone. Shammo also says the move is to help Verizon "understand consumer behavior" so it can further develop an LTE pricing strategy (which so far has consisted of the same strategy they use for EVDO: caps with $10 per GB overages).

view:
topics flat nest 

IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
·Comcast

I'm keeping my unlimited

I'm keeping my unlimited as I am grandfathered on my iPhone through Verizon. My MiFi is NOT unlimited and I could not keep my $35/3GB plan when I went 4G.
--
All of my CPE (including my EMTA) is customer owned. The only Comcast owned equipment in my house is the CableCards in the two TiVO boxes I own.

norbert26
Premium
join:2010-08-10
Warwick, RI

Re: I'm keeping my unlimited

+ one on iPhone Grandfathered unlimited .

CurGeorge8

join:2005-05-02
South Park, PA

Re: I'm keeping my unlimited

+ two on Motorola Bionic 4G grandfathered unlimited.

thegeek
Premium
join:2008-02-21
right here
kudos:2
I'll keep my unlimited on my three Android lines for as long as they will let me!

MovieLover76

join:2009-09-11
kudos:1
Everyone who still has unlimited agrees, the problem with this plan is that since Verizon has a low churn rate and they only when to metered billing in July, a large percentage and probably the majority of smartphone users on Verizon are unlimted. You can upgrade to LTE if you wish and keep your unlimited. so their really is no incentive for the majority of their users

If they want to get users off of 3G, I think they'll need to offer some price incentive as these incentives miss the majority of Verizon 3G users. They do have their new $20 plan for 300mb but it has such a low quota that few current smartphone users will leave unlimited for it, it's geared more at new users.

New users is the one place where this incentive will help, given the choice of a two plans $30 for 2Gb on 3G and $30 for 4GB on 4G, I think they'll sign up a lot more 4G users maybe that's enough to atleast slow down the congestion of the 3G network, though they'll still be selling iphones, so new users are going to continue to enter the 3G network until a LTE iphone comes out.

i1me2ao
Premium
join:2001-03-03
TEXAS

Re: I'm keeping my unlimited

we have crappy 3g and there is no plan for 4g anytime soon. how and the hell are we suppose to get off 3g?
--
ummh union bad, ummh union bad, please tell me what else to regurgitate

MovieLover76

join:2009-09-11
kudos:1

Re: I'm keeping my unlimited

Obviously not everyone can, some areas simply have to wait until 4G is deployed, I'm not covered yet either, but my area shouldn't be too far off, NJ has just been delayed because of storm damage.

i1me2ao
Premium
join:2001-03-03
TEXAS

Re: I'm keeping my unlimited

i am 31 minutes out of a international city. it stops 19 minutes from my house.

i am not talking about arkanas where there is hundred so of sq miles where you not even get a cell signal. i am not talking about and area where gps goes WTF turn me off and get a map..
--
ummh union bad, ummh union bad, please tell me what else to regurgitate
ARDSLer

join:2002-03-04
Fort Smith, AR

Re: I'm keeping my unlimited

I live in ARKANSAS and they have 4G in my city now, but, alas, I am using IPhone 4 on 3G.

i1me2ao
Premium
join:2001-03-03
TEXAS

Re: I'm keeping my unlimited

near northern part of lousisnna crossing into arkanas we went through several small towns where service would popup for 10 seconds and then go back to searching for signal.

if you look on coverage map it is shaded in as having 3g..
--
ummh union bad, ummh union bad, please tell me what else to regurgitate
Crookshanks

join:2008-02-04
Binghamton, NY
said by MovieLover76:

If they want to get users off of 3G

If they want to get me off 3G they need to deploy LTE in my market. They've deployed it to neighboring markets (Scranton/Wilkes Barre and Ithaca) but not to mine. This seems strange to me since we have one of four SUNY University Centers here but hopefully we'll be included in the next roll out.

At this point I would be willing to pay full price for an LTE phone because the 3G network is starting to buckle under the strain here. Pandora hasn't worked well for months and that was half the reason I got a smartphone in the first place. My data card runs anywhere from dialup speeds to 200k during the day. It's frustrating to say the least.
openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
Germany
kudos:2
said by MovieLover76:

If they want to get users off of 3G, I think they'll need to offer some price incentive as these incentives miss the majority of Verizon 3G users.

I bet VZW catches a handful of ignorant "unlimited" consumers with this deal Otherwise yes, I agree with you. VZW will need to incentivize grandfathered users to move to capped tiers. My guess is that a majority of this will be accomplished in the form family data plans, saving a little money across multiple lines.

MovieLover76

join:2009-09-11
kudos:1

Re: I'm keeping my unlimited

Yea they'll probably catch a few ignorant users, I'm keeping my unlimited until they forcibly pry it from my hands, but I use a lot of data 3-6gb a month.
openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
Germany
kudos:2

Re: I'm keeping my unlimited

I use ~1.5 GB/mth and might be interested in surrendering my unlimited plan for an appropriately priced/capped family plan.
CXM_Splicer
Looking at the bigger picture
Premium
join:2011-08-11
NYC
kudos:2
There are no ignorant unlimited customers... only uneducated ones. As soon as they see the error of their ways, they will switch. (well, at least that's what Verizon thinks!)

Surf now, while you have the chance. I would bet money that in 3 years, 'unlimited' will be a distant memory in favor of more resource friendly metered usage.
openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
Germany
kudos:2

Re: I'm keeping my unlimited

Ignorant isn't necessarily a negative word, it's just often used in that context.
said by Dictionary.com :

lacking knowledge or information as to a particular subject or fact: ignorant of quantum physics.

said by CXM_Splicer:

Surf now, while you have the chance. I would bet money that in 3 years, 'unlimited' will be a distant memory in favor of more resource friendly metered usage.

That's the obvious trend.
ke4pym
Premium
join:2004-07-24
Charlotte, NC
Reviews:
·Northland Cable ..
·Time Warner Cable
·ooma
·VOIPO
·Verizon Broadban..

Let me

convert my 5 year old unlimited 3G data card plan to an LTE plan and I'm set.

I'd turn off the 3G data card and use the Thunderbolt. But it can't keep a stable data connection to save its life. That, and I'd have to turn on WiFi. Which makes me open to scanning. Data card, not so much.

MovieLover76

join:2009-09-11
kudos:1

Re: Let me

Have you installed the latest gingerbread update? I tether to my thunderbolt all of the time without issue. though I know that connection problems can be a local issue.
slimtim

join:2002-12-12
Coldwater, MI

Re: Let me

MovieLover76,

Which tether app do you use? I just got the GB update recently on my TB. TIA. (I'm guessing your rooted??)

-TimJ

MovieLover76

join:2009-09-11
kudos:1

Re: Let me

Open Garden Wifi Tether, and yes I'm rooted. I should have mentioned I normally also use custom roms, so my experience may not match a stock user, didn't think of that.
ke4pym
Premium
join:2004-07-24
Charlotte, NC
Reviews:
·Northland Cable ..
·Time Warner Cable
·ooma
·VOIPO
·Verizon Broadban..
said by MovieLover76:

Have you installed the latest gingerbread update? I tether to my thunderbolt all of the time without issue. though I know that connection problems can be a local issue.

To the best of my knowledge, it is current on its OSen. It did an update on 10/28/11.

It will switch from LTE to 3G to 1x in a heartbeat. Once it goes to 1x, it never goes back to LTE until it reboots.

I'm on my 2nd T'bolt since May.
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Unlimited

This unlimited business is much of the problem. Why is Verizon allowing people to sign up again on unlimited plans on EVDO? As soon as the contract runs out, they should be switched to a current plan, or at the least, when they upgrade hardware.

Also, why are they selling so many mediocre EVDO-only DROIDs? They can't get an LTE iPhone right now, but they sure as heck have LTE DROIDs up the wazoo. They should be phasing out the EVDO-only DROIDs and Android phones, and they should not promote the iPhone at all, only their LTE-based DROIDs.

Effectively, they're only looking at a small part of the problem here.

MovieLover76

join:2009-09-11
kudos:1

Re: Unlimited

As far as upgrades go, It's called a grandfathered plan, every major carrier supports it and the grandfathered plans on Verizon allow you to upgrade to an LTE phone and keep unlimited, so it's really not part of the problem.

I think the only reason they sell 3G droids still is because the LTE network isn't completed and 4G phones tend to eat battery, even when LTE is turned off I get worse battery life on my LTE phone than with an old 3G phone, so many users don't want an LTE phone, especially when they can't benefit from the faster speeds, they just get a faster dying battery

When Verizon's LTE network is closer to completion and LTE radios improve I think you
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Re: Unlimited

Part of my point is that none of the carriers should be allowing grandfathering. Verizon plays hardball with the contracts, the terms, locking down the phones, everything, except for grandfathering where they are soft. They have the network, why not use their power for something useful, like getting rid of grandfathered plans? I say this as I use a grandfathered FT plan on AT&T, the concept that they haven't kicked us off of it yet is ridiculous. We're just keeping it as a joke at this point, we don't need the minutes, but it's still just ridiculous that they aren't cleaning them out.

At least AT&T incentivized people to switch to 2GB, as it's cheaper, and they also made it an improvement for people like me, I got a better plan when I got a smartphone, whereas people on Verizon got a worse plan, they should follow suit and drop the price to $25 for 2GB.

MovieLover76

join:2009-09-11
kudos:1

Re: Unlimited

Personally I love grandfathered plans, from a consumers point of view why shouldn't they continue to honor the deal they originally gave me when I signed up? I want them to stick around as I am a fairly heavy data user 3 - 6 gb a month and on tiered plans I'd pay a lot more, my cell phone bill is already $100 a month for one line, smart phones are already very expensive, so I don't support anything that makes it easier for the cell phone companies to raise prices.

I'm not crazy though I've seen on forums where users use LTE as their main connection and go through 80gb in the month and something should probably be done about use. I do believe that is abusive use, they should throttle connections after that an extreme point, like 20gb on unlimited LTE plans.

I'm still within the limits of plans they offer and support, I just get it cheaper because I'm grandfathered and I think grandfathered plans are a great way to reward customer loyalty and to keep churn low.

Say what you will about grandfathered plans, but it's an accepted part of the cellular industry in the U.S. and I think you'd see some pretty bad backlash if a carrier decided to kill grandfathered plans.
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Re: Unlimited

Wireless is just about the only business where you get grandfathered plans. Do you get the same cable plan you got 10 years ago? The same electric rate?

The fact of the matter is that they are obligated to give you what you signed up for through the end of your contract, and no longer. They should definitely require everything on the account to be up to date when upgrading a device. It's only fair that everyone pays their fair share, and people on old plans don't get a free ride.

Verizon of all carriers has the power and clout to eliminate grandfathered plans. Basically, after 24 months of that plan being eliminated, there would be no one left on it.

Maybe a better strategy looking for the next few years would be move move everyone onto a plan that reflects the greater spectral efficiency of 4G LTE and make it, say, 5GB of LTE and 2GB of EVDO or something to encourage people who are extreme data users to move to LTE. I wish they would use pricing to encourage more reasonable usage. A $20 1GB plan would be great, and 99% of users don't want or need more than that, and most of the users who currently use more would rather save the $10 and lower their usage.
biochemistry
Premium
join:2003-05-09
92361

Re: Unlimited

You have some real people skills problems. Verizon makes one pro consumer action and you lamblast them for it? A lot of us live where we can't get landline based internet such as comcast like your spoiled rear does. For us, unlimited wireless is a godsend.
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Re: Unlimited

I don't think that unlimited is pro-consumer as it encourages network congestion.

I think that for areas that they can serve wirelessly that don't have DSL or the ability to build out the cable plant, they should make specific plans for, that offer 50-100GB/mo for a reasonable price, but locked down to a few specific rural towers, so that those plans and devices can't find their way into Manhattan or something where congestion is a big issue.

It's a tough issue for people who have lived there a long time. If you moved there recently, then it would be your fault for not picking somewhere with land-based connectivity.

That, and I don't think my rear is too spoiled, having an old Comcast system that gets upgraded 5 years behind most of the rest of the company, and no valid option for DSL (they can only provision us at 1500kbps because we're at 11 kilofeet).
biochemistry
Premium
join:2003-05-09
92361

Re: Unlimited

Guess what? People move where there are jobs and believe it or not there are jobs outside the big cities. And also believe it or not, you don't have to live in a city of 3 people to live in a city without landline broadband. Even newer middle class subdivisions in average sized towns get stuck without landline broadband. Congestion is easily satisfied by building more capacity. Verizon and AT&T aren't hurting for profits.
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Re: Unlimited

There is only so much spectrum. Then those residents need to get together and do something about it, whether building a WiSP, or going to the local government to get cable through franchising agreements, etc.

The local governments need to be smart, when granting the franchises. Heck, there are two islands in New Hampshire that are inhabited for a few months a year that are getting a cable system, complete with submarine fiber to feed it, because the towns were smart and said that if 10 customers per cable mile want any cable service for a year, the cable provider is required to build or they can kiss their lucrative franchise bye bye. Result: one island got cable, complete with a fiber crossing that was surveyed by the US Army Corps of Engineers and several miles of cable. The other one will soon if there are 10 customers to sign up. In CT, AFAIK, if a cable provider wants a franchise agreement, they either get 100% of a town or 0% of a town, there is no half-assing it and not building out to everyone. I'm pretty sure we have 100% cable availability across the state.
bronxlcsw

join:2005-09-21
Bronx, NY
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
·Optimum Online

But LTE is freakishly fast....

I am a new verizon subscriber with the new razr by moto. I was floored by the speed test results. about 30mbs form a cell phone?? Thats as fast as my fios. I hopped on the new double the data plan so for 30 dollars i get 4gb instead of 2. But now im thinking i need the 10gb plan.

••••
elefante72

join:2010-12-03
East Amherst, NY

4G will suck your battery dry..if you let it.

Well not entirely true, but I live on the edge of 3G/4G coverage and my phone will go between 3g/4g/1RTT on a whim, and when it starts doing that my battery turns into a torch (funny--it really gets hot), and say goodbye 50% battery in an hour, gone. I have a t-bolt which recent UI upgrades are great, switching between technologies is not. If I force 3G it can run for 2+days, 4G it's a Vegas slot machine.

So I just leave my phone in 3G mode, because I can't take the chance that driving around in Boston or NYC I am going to get my battery drained, or it goes into RTT mode for 30 minutes.

When the 4G network is on, it's on and works great, but I feel like one bad tower or handoff and I'm done. My phone is not a toy, its my office. VZW deployment is half-baked at this point, or at least my phone. Either way its not reliable.

I'm also grandfathered, so I don't worry about data, although I use about 500Mb/month (use wifi when I can). I think the VZW tether charge is a joke tho, and they beg people to circumvent that.

3G is fast enough for me, however I bought a 4G phone and shouldn't have to deal with obvious carrier issues. With that VZW is apathetic to the issue, because they can't say they actually have a problem. When I first got the tbolt, I would have to charge it 2x a day, so software updates have helped.

With that I also knew I was getting the first 4G phone, and it wouldn't be ready for prime time which is sad, because we are all treated like beta testers these days...

W7PSK
Just Me
Premium
join:2000-12-04
Everett, WA

The single reason for this whole affair

is the board and the CEO want more Coin in their pockets. This is nothing more than another grab at any extra cash they can get their greedy little mitts on.

88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness

If they want people on 4g

A) offer a family data plan.

B) offer something cheaper than $30. Yes I know they just recently started offering a $20 300 MB plan. However it's only good thru the middle of January. What if someone can't upgrade to a 4G smarthphone until after that? Make it permanent.

C) Higher caps. Lower overages. Charging anything over $1 per GB is rape.
heimdm

join:2008-06-22
Martinsville, IN

Re: If they want people on 4g

I am waiting on fixed LTE and hoping the overage rate will be around $1/gb. At that point I am there.